CSN's Gloria Cuartas Page

This page is the sole responsibility of
the Colombia Support Network, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
Updated Dec 22, 1997

The Colombian Army wants to shut down this web page!
Why is it so dangerous????????

  • Gloria Cuartas Term Will End as Mayor of Apartado: Gloria's message
  • April 7 update on attempt by Colombian Military to intimidate Gloria Cuartas
  • NEW PAGE Dedicated to: Governor of Antioquia Alvaro Uribe Velez

    "I always came as a mediator in conflicts and a creator of projects."

    Gloria Cuartas Montoya, a 34 year old social worker and sociologist, was chosen to be the consensus candidate for Mayor of Apartadó - one of the most violent areas of Colombia. She was elected Mayor in the November 1994 election. Today she faces threats to her life - for the sole reason that she is seeking an END TO THE INSANE VIOLENCE. Gloria calls out to the international community, that you do what you can do to help her and her people in their hour of need.

    March 10, 1997

    Last week the Colombian Military called for closing down CSN's Gloria Cuartas web page.

    Mayor Cuartas was interrogated by the Colombian military about this very web page, despite the fact that she has never seen it. Colombia's military and paramilitary leaders are upset that THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING WHAT THEY DO IN COLOMBIA and that the internet is providing accurate and instantaneous information about their atrocities.

    Read the information below and decide what you can do. One vital act can be to either REPRODUCE THIS PAGE (about 35 kb) on your own home page, or PROVIDE A LINK to CSN's page, to help spread the alert, and show the men with guns and hearts of stone that people all over the world are watching what they do in Apartado!
    March 10, 1997
    Call for Action for Peace in Apartadó

    On February 27, a bomb killed 12 people and injured 60 in Apartado. Fingers are being pointed at the FARC-EP, a guerrilla group operating in the region -- though there is certainly the possibility of state security agents masquerading as guerrillas or utilizing 'turned' guerrillas for carry out their dirty work of destabilizing the region.

    Several anonymous communiqués are going around Apartado, which are most likely the intellectual offspring of the Colombian Army's regional commander, General Rito Alejo Del Rio, blaming Apartado's Mayor Gloria Cuartas for the violence there.

    CSN is calling upon the international community to begin an international letter writing campaign to stop the violence and save Gloria's life -- since communiqués in Colombia like that are just a call to the paramilitaries to kill her and to continue the killings of the general population.

    Additionally, the Colombian Military has begun an official inquiry into this very web page!! A High Official of the Colombian Military visited her with the explicit purpose of closing down this web page. And on February 28, she was interrogated by the Army's XVII Brigade Base in Carepa ("Court #114 of the Military Criminal Justice System) in Case #113/BR 17-J114-IBM-746". She was asked things such as
    • 2. Provide a clear, detailed statement of everything you know for sure about the document entitled "Gloria Cuartas Page" of February 24, 1997, taken from the Internet, specifying the authorship of said document and the sources or documents upon which it ia based.
    • 3. Tell the court if you certify in full or in part that which is set forth in a part of the document mentioned above is true, and which says in exact translation from English to Spanish :" Gloria's work for peace and her very life are being threatened by violence while the......".
    • 4. If your answer to the above question is affirmative, please set down everything you know about the circumstances of time, mode, place of the above mentioned page.
    • 5. If you answer question 3 in the affirmative tell the Court what evidence you had to substantiate the above accusation.
    • 6. There appears in the "Gloria Cuartas" page in pages 6 and 7 of the English text which says in Spanish translation the following :"CSN has learned from other sources that....Fidel Castano". Please tell us everything you know about this statement.
    This is clearly an attempt to stop the use of the internet as a mode of communicating vital information! Obviously the Colombian military, who pride themselves as professionals, are embarrassed that what used to be allowed to occur in silence, is no longer the case. Their passive and active support of death-dealing paramilitary units (financed by druglords like Castano) is coming under scrutiny.

    We call upon all people of good will to stand up and say NO -- YOU CANNOT SILENCE THE TRUTH. ADD a Gloria Cuartas page (or a link to CSN's) on your home page!

    (signed - Colombia Support Network, Madison, WI)

    by Apartadó Mayor Gloria Cuartas

    With great sorrow I announce to the world the cruel and irrational massacre carried out by the subversive group "Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia E.P. (FARC-EP) against the civilian population.

    On February 27 of this year the guerrilla group detonated a car bomb in the center of the city of Apartado in Antioquia, Colombia, killing 12 persons, among them children, women and men. The bombing also injured 60 persons and caused damage of more than 3 million dollars (3 billion pesos).

    This is crime of lese humanity which must be condemned by everyone and by every institution. Nothing can be said in its favor; there is no excuse for the politics of death. It is thus necessary to recognize that groups of insurgents also are violating Human Rights.

    Not only was there an explosion; now we are experiencing retaliation by the paramilitary forces which sow death and terror in the population.

    We are defenseless in the face of those who carry out violence. Our only resource is for you, the international organizations, to accompany the civilian society which is caught in the middle of the conflict. International support is necessary as a form of protection until conditions develop which permit political negotiation in our country or region.

    We are not simple spectators in this war. We are the civilian population which suffers and supplies the dead. We are human beings who cannot remain frozen by fear. Our call to protect life is urgent. We believe in our institutions, but we know that without international accompaniment which opens space for dialogue for life, we will be destined sadly to await the progressive degradation of this conflict.

    The number of violent deaths by firearm in the period 1995 - 1997 is now 652.


    Press Release

    Apartadó, March 6, 1997

    In response to what is contained in the flyers which are circulating in the municipality of Apartado, by the supposed "Victims and relatives of those assassinated by the car bomb", and in which Gloria Isabel Cuartas Montoya, mayor of Apartado, is said to be responsible for the infamous events which occurred on February 27 of this year, the board members of the Municipal government express before public opinion their most energetic rejection of these false and tendentious claims which only serve to misrepresent the reality of what happened and to fail to recognize the causes of the social conflict which is being experienced in Uraba and which is not foreign to the rest of the country.

    With the flyers they only seek to misinform public opinion, fertilizing the path to create more serious problems of violence such as those which our community has been confronting, at the expense of the pointing out and judging of one person alone who has distinguished herself by her unbreakable social sensitivity and sense of responsibility, and thus putting her life in danger and creating more tension in our community.

    In the same sense we call out to the entire civilian population to maintain neutrality in the face of the conflict, and to the groups which participate in the conflict to renounce terrorism, respect the life of the civilian population, and open paths which make possible a dialogue leading to peaceful coexistence.


    MIGUEL ANGEL FLOREZ AGUDELO, Secretary of Government

    GLORIA ELIZABETH GRISALES MUNOZ , Secretary of Public Works


    GLORIA HELENA TORRES MONSALVE , Secretary of Transportation

    CIRILO MENA PALACIO, Secretary of Education

    HILDA ISABEL SANCHEZ DE GAVIRIA, Secretary of Treasury


    HENRY GARCIA GONZALEZ, Secretary of Health

    LUIS EDUARDO ROLDAN ARROYAVE, Director of Internal Control

    Press Release

    The Honorable Municipal Council of Apartado, Antioquia, in its plenary session of March 6, 1997, emphatically rejects the pamphlets issued against the Mayor of Apartado, one of which is entitled "Communiqué to public opinion" and the other "People of Uraba -- A Cry for Help". These are supposedly on behalf of those who had property damaged in the terrorist attack of February 27 and by relatives of the victims. With respect to this matter this honorable body wishes to express the following :

    First. We cannot conceive why a means of communication with such a high level of prestige {apparently it refers to publications in the national press}, audience and credibility on the national level is used to spread this type of "time bomb" for which no one answers and which has not even one single signature to attest to its veracity. Since when does the press here publish anonymous statements ?

    Second. It is clear to us that this type of mechanism of soiling one's reputation, particularly anonymous, only seeks to sow chaos and uncertainty in a population saturated with violence and fear, with the aggravating circumstance that they use the pain of the relatives of the victims and of those who suffered damage to property to begin a misnamed political campaign not only against the Mayor of Apartado, but also against the municipal institutions in such difficult moments, in which it has been possible to show that all the institutions work closely with the community. Who do they think believes that Gloria Cuartas is the cause of the violence in Apartado ?

    Third, We categorically deny the charges that the Mayor takes international trips financed by funds from the municipal treasury. We are a responsible body and we are constantly aware of what happens in the administration in this respect, in the same sense as the Municipal treasurer's office, where all information in this respect can be obtained.

    Fourth. This body urgently calls upon the institutions to unify; and to the relatives of the victims, as for those who suffered damage to their property, a majority of which are merchants, to maintain the calm which they have always shown.

    LUIS FERNANDO LOPEZ ALCARAZ, President of the City Council

    UBALDO ALFREDO BOTERO ZULUAGA, Vice-President of the City Council

    JAIRO ALBERTO BANQUET PAEZ Secretary General of the City Council

    Text of one anonymous leaflet circulated in Apartado apparently by paramilitary advocates/supporters

    We inhabitants of Apartado set in motion a struggle for the life of our children. We reject all violent actions. The attempts against our lives which we suffered days ago still interrupts our sleep.

    The common pain of motherhood does not blind us to discover behind so much death, violence and terror a black hand hidden behind the repeated sacrifice of innocent lives.

    Is it possible that someone benefits from the massacres, the terrorism and our pain ?

    That someone could be given awards, honors and even decorated because of our human suffering ?

    The absence of our Mayor has been converted into a sign of disgrace. She returns with a group of journalists weeping her false tears about our dead and again takes advantage of the impact of our sorrow to gain political prestige.

    For God's sake, how much more blood must be spill in Uraba for her to win a new award ?

    How many deaths will have to occur to prepare her new political campaign ?

    Journalists, humanitarian organizations, decorate her now ... politicians nominate her now... give her wherever she wishes. Massacres now are not sufficient for her. Now bombs threaten us. We do not want another one.

    So that life will not be extinguished in Apartado, so that our dreams and smiles will not die forever, we unmask this farce which the entire country has believed.

    Text of second anonymous leaflet in Apartado issued apparently by paramilitary advocates/supporters


    Communiqué to Public Opinion

    We people of goodwill inhabitants of Apartado repudiate the crime committed against our people, which was carried out by demented persons who do not measure the consequences of their actions and only seek to create panic and in that way destroy what we had obtained with great effort and even with our own blood, all this with the sole objective of "guaranteeing a dignified life to our loved ones."

    After this horrible killing and finding ourselves in the street overnight, we only ask ourselves "Will the Mayor with her fake tears stop spending our tax money on sumptuous trips for her personal benefit and decide to use them to help those who are victims of the crime ?

    Events such as those which have taken place in this region not only merit national or international censure but also that she be judged who in our view as Mayor did nothing to avoid it, only preferring to go on her political trips seeking peace prizes which have been bought with our blood. And she is the only person responsible for the violence experienced in Apartado.

    Please, Madam Mayor, do not massacre your people...with your eagerness to be the center of attention we lose our loved ones. Carry out your functions and do not pretend to be something you have never been. We wait urgently for you to commit yourself publicly to give us the support which we need today to continue forward.

    We call upon all goodhearted people to unite in prayer and we call upon the All Powerful One to send a ray of light to the martyred inhabitants of Apartado, victims of a war organized and directed by the Mayor of our battered municipality, Gloria Cuartas.

    To guarantee our life.... ( last two lines illegible)

    Call for Action!

    issued by the Colombia Support Network

    Send appeals asking the immediate removal of General Rito Alejo del Rio from Uraba. Since he took command of the battalion near Apartado, paramilitary violence has greatly increased. His former second-in-command Colonel Carlos Alfonso Velazquez complained to the highest Colombian Army command that General del Rio was not trying to curtail paramilitary violence. (Col. Velazquez was forced out of the Army for this.)

    Ask the U.S. State Dept and Defense Dept that VISAS to General Rito Alejo del Rio and his family to come to the U. S. be suspended because of the atrocities that have been committed in Uraba since he took command. Paramilitary groups have been seen by peasants patrolling along the army, and the army under General Del Rio's command does not protect the civilian population as stipulated in the Colombian Constitution.

    Write to the State Department, Defense Department and to your Senators and Representatives about this urgent situation. Urge hearings into U.S. support of the Colombian military, which includes training at the School of the Americas and millions of dollars in military aid, including Black Hawk heliocopters.

    In the U.S. write to:

    Sec of State Madeleine Albricht and also
    Asst Sec of State for Human Rights _____ _______
    2201 C. St NW, Washington DC 20520

    Sec. of Defense William S. Cohen
    1000 Defense
    The Pentagon
    Washington, DC 20301

    Your CongressPerson
    House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    Your Senators
    U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    In Colombia write to :

    President Ernesto Samper Pizano
    Palacio de Narino
    Carrera 8 # 7 -26
    Bogota , Colombia South America
    FAX 011 57 1 289 3377

    Fiscal General Alfonso Valdivieso Sarmiento
    Apartado Aereo # 29855
    Bogota Colombia South America
    FAX 011 57 1 287 0939

    Minister of Interior Horacio Serpa Uribe
    Carrera 8 # 8 - 09 Piso 2
    Bogota Colombia South America
    FAX 011 57 1 281 5884

    Minister of Defense Guillermo Gonzalez
    Avenida El Dorado CAN - Carrera 52
    Bogota, Colombia South America
    FAX 011 57 1 222 1874

    Please send copies of correspondence to:
    Colombia Support Network
    PO Box 1505 -- Madison WISCONSIN USA 53701
    Phone (608) 257-8753 Fax (608) 255-6621 email csn@igc.apc.org

    Mayor Gets UNESCO Honor for Peace Work

    (from 11/17/96 Chicago Tribune, by Constanza de Serna)

    Gloria Cuartas, mayor of Apartado, Colombia, has received the first UNESCO Mayors for Peace Award to recognize exemplary actions among municipal leaders worldwide. Cuarta was selected "for her courageous work to combat social exclusion and promote community dialogue, peace and citizenship," Federico Mayor Zaragoza, UNICEF director-general, said during a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.

    Cuartas says she will use her $25,000 prize on behalf of Apartado.

    Trained as a sociologist, Cuartas was elected mayor of Apartado in 1994. Since then she has worked towarad reversing 30 years of sectarian and drug-trafficking violence in her community in northwestern Colombia.

    "This award means a lot not only for me, but also for the region of Uraba in recognizing the administrative and humanitarian tasks that we are all doing in the municipal team," said Cuartas. "We need to overcome the images of death to raise instead a voice of international solidarity for protecting life."

    Your Assistance Requested

    -- 8/30/96 --

    In the last month the paramilitaries have killed 66 people in Chigorodó (a small town that neighbors Apartadó) and 26 people in Apartadó. Gloria reported that the paramilitaries were about to "take Apartadó" which means more people will certainly be killed.

    On 8/22/96 Gloria Cuartas was in a school in preparation for Semana por la Paz, a week-long peace education event sponsored by Programa por la Paz. While she was talking with children in the school, paramilitaries killed and then decapitated a child who was playing in the school yard. Later the same day paramilitaries hurled insults at Gloria Cuartas. She interprets these acts as an indication that the paramilitaries intend to kill her.

    STATEMENT FROM APARTADó (issued by Gloria 8/29/86 via phone to Cecilia Zarate-Laun of Madison)

    Gloria Cuartas, the mayor of Apartadó, had called for public support throughout the world for the gestures of peace and reconciliation which she is making. A social worker who has never been a political candidate, nor a party activist, Gloria was asked to run for mayor of the violence plagued town of Apartadó by a group of citizens led by Apartadó's Catholic Bishop (now Archbishop of Cali), Monsignor Isaias Duarte.

    Her role as mayor has been to seek to have feuding factions work for peace. But paramilitary groups and guerrillas have brought battles to Apartadó, where numerous people have been killed in the past several days.

    Gloria's work for peace (and her life itself) are being threatened by violence while President Samper and military officers (with their barracks a few kilometers from Apartadó) stand by and permit the slaughter to continue, supporting paramiltary violence against the population of Apartadó in the name of a war against "subversives."

    Gloria asks that people of conscience throughout the world write, send faxes and call to Colombia's political and military leaders, urging them (with words that are nonconfrontational) to:

    • Follow their constitutional obligation to protect the citizenry
    • Be aware that the world is watching what they do and will hold them accountable
    • End their support for the creation of so-called "self-defense cooperatives CONVIVIR"

    (Side note not intended for letters to Colombian officials: The "self defense cooperatives" are nothing more than groups of heavily armed men who have taken the law into their own hands and regularly violate the most sacred precepts of human rights and personal dignity.)

    8/30/96 URGENT ACTION

    Please send faxes to the following people immediately and then let CSN know. The top two people listed are the highest priority.

    We would appreciate receiving a copy of your fax -- CSN fax (608) 255-6621; phone (608) 257-8753).

    • Dr. Juan Carlos Esquerra, Ministro de Defensa; fax: 011-571-222- 1874
    • Gobernador de Antioquia Alvaro Uriba Velez; fax: 011-574-381-1342
    • U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, U.S. Ambassador Myles Frechette; fax: 011-571-315-2209
    • Dr. Horacio Serpa Uribe, Ministro del Interior; fax: 011-571-286-8025

    (PLEASE mail or fax copies of your faxes to CSN)

    Colombia's Woman of the Year Stands Up to the Generals and Politicans

    April 9, 1996 UPDATE: Three assassins (El Tigre, El Burro and El Alacran) are now in Apartado' with the explicit mission of murdering Gloria Cuartas. There was word last week of a 50 million peso (~$US50,000) contract out on her. Gloria has asked us to ask you to do whatever you can do -- fax the U.S. Ambassador and the State Department, contact any official whom you know who might also do so -- for now is the time to make it clear to the Colombian military and establishment that THE WORLD IS WATCHING APARTADO'.

    Easter, April 7, 1996 2230CDT -- A few minutes ago we spoke with Gloria Cuartas. "On Wednesday evening, paramilitary gunmen, firing indiscrimately from a pickup truck, murdered 11 people in the Policarpa neighborhood. Easter Thursday and Friday were horrible."

    Minutes before we spoke tonight, she had gotten a call saying two trucks full of armed men were driving around Apartadó -- again.

    Gloria Cuartas has spoken out forcefully and criticized the Colombian Government for refusing to stop the violence in Apartadó -- she has stated what many suspected all along -- the the paramilitary death squads are funded by some cattle ranchers and banana plantation owners, in alliance with druglord Fidel Castaño.

    The Army Commander now in charge of Uraba, General Ivan Ramirez Quintero, has had long ties with death squads in the Magdalena Medio region and elsewhere (source: El Terrorismo de Estado en Colombia, pp. 269-271, published in Belgium in 1992 by 10 NGOs). It would be no stretch of the imagination to believe that he is in collusion with druglord Fidel Castaño. And this General has been trained in U.S. military institutions -- Sept to Dec 1983, he received a "strategic intelligence course" in Washington, D.C. (ibid, p. 271) The General in immediate power in Apartadó is now Rito Alejandro del Rio Rojas, A GRADUATE OF THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS! -- apparently General Victor Alvarez wasn't ruthless enough.

    Because of her 'speaking truth to power', we fear for the safety of Gloria Cuartas. Her secretary was assassinated a few months ago. She is walking a tightrope that gets more dangerous day by day, attempting to bring peace to her town.

    We ask that you a fax to the U.S. Ambassador, and to the State Department, stating your concern.

    • U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Myles Frechette
      U.S. Embassy, Bogota
      Fax 011 571 315 2209
    • State Department
      Attn: Warren Christopher
      Fax 202 647-7120

    CSN asks that you state your concern for the safety of Gloria Cuartas (just chosen Colombian Woman of the Year), particularly at the command of U.S.-trained General Ramirez Quintero, and request that no visas be granted to either of these Generals, nor their families, for visits to the U.S. Request that the military attache contact General Ramirez Quintero and communicate your concern. Ask for a response.

    Please send CSN a copy of your fax if possible and any response

    CAFAM Woman of the Year

    March 9, 1996 El Espectador
    (Noticol 622 3/11/96)


    This Antioquian woman, who has struggled ceaselessly for her community and who is most known for her accomplishments as Mayor of Apartadó, was the winner yesterday of the Eight Annual CAFAM Award for the Colombian Woman of the year.

    She is Gloria Isabel Cuartas Montoya, born in Sabaneta, Antioquia where she studied in the Colegio El Carmelo, later moving to Medellin where she graduated in social work at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. She began her social work with the victims of the Popayan earthquake and continued working with these people in preventive programs and disaster assistance.

    As a staff member of INURBE in Bogota, she traveled to Israel where she completed a course in community rehabiliation. Her speciality is inter- institutional coordination to carry out programs to assist communities burdened with extreme poverty and problems of violence.

    "I am an energetic woman and very disciplined, up to the point that this occupation has become my way of life". This is how Gloria Isabel Cuartas described herself in an interview with El Espectador in early 1996.

    Interview with Gloria Cuartas

    The following are excerpts from an interview that appeared in the October 30, 1994 issue of the Bogota daily El Tiempo:

    Since 1984 Gloria Cuartas has been involved in working in Uraba, i.e. with Community Development of Antioquia, Future for Children, the Antioquia Energy Company, and directing a regional housing program.

    You took specialized training in neighborhood rehabilitation in Israel. What similarities are there between the social dynamic in Israel and that in Uraba?

    "Although it may sound strange, for me Apartadó is a little Israel, because it is also a promised land. This is not from a religious or political view, but for it being a territory of high confrontations, for its strategic position, and for the advantages which Uraba offers for all sectors."

    "This is a territory with people from all regions of Colombia, and only now do we have a stable residential population; 25 years ago Uraba had a mobile population.

    Have you received threats urging you leave the region?

    "I have worked in all parts of Uraba and never been threatened. However, a week ago there was an attempt at destablization; while I was at a meeting in Cali, there were rumors here of threats and of my death. When I returned I found the people meeting in the headquarters of EPL and they thought that I was a ghost!

    Are you not afraid that they will kill you?

    "I think one reaps what one sows. I have always been open to very conflictive situations and I am not afraid of dying. I have always said that pacts with life do not exclude death. I have told the people of consensus, with me or without me, a path has been started.

    Is there an explanation for the war in Uraba?

    "I think the conflicts have to be depolarized- we have McCarthyized them and abandoned them to 2 or 3 political groups. I think the problem in Uraba is much bigger than 2 or 3 political antagonisms. It is an entire process of appropriation of territory where many forces are found: economic investments, influences of the international market, the military forces, the political groups, the citizens, the common criminals, and organized crime. To speak of war and death here I would not speak of just one actor, I would call attention to all those actors in Uraba because all of us have a certain amount of responsibility for the conflict, and there are things that deserve an explanation because a region which has so much investment of the State in the economy of war ought at least to explore other paths of peace.

    What is your relationship to the military, the banana business owners, the guerrilla?

    "I think that the military forces are indispensable actors within the peace process and to now I have not had problems with them. Through the banana business owners I wish to seek investment in other sectors; the banana business owners are changing compared to the workers and unions. All of us civil servants who live in this region have found ourselves on some occasion with the guerrilla. They are a real force in the region and we cannot ignore it.

    What have you done to handle the antagonistic political forces in the region, the PC-UP (Communist Party - Patriotic Union) and the EPL ?

    "I think that we are just beginning a new political reconversion of the country, by understanding there are no hegemonic forces. Here retaliation is a key phenomenon: you offend me and I offend you; people here do not speak as a person but as a party. With some leaders such as Mario Agudelo and Gustavo Arenas we have begun to develop more thoughful discusion. I ask myself: Who is certain that the massacres where the 2 political forces have been implicated, are really their responsibility? I trust in Jose Antonio Lopez, Naun Orrego and in several of the detained persons whom I know.

    How has the political life of Apartadó been affected by the detention of these leaders, among them Mayor Nelson Campo Nuñez?

    "With the arrest of these leaders, many people who trusted them now feel politically disadvantaged. It is not the same today, with people of the Policarpa neighborhood now with Naun Orrego gone. I respect very much the investigations by the Attorney General into the massacres. A citizen who dies, a "no name" in politics, deserves to have clarity about why they killed him.

    Do you believe that the investigation of the Attorney General's office [of La Chinita massacre] and the order of capture against these leaders have been just?

    "There are two positions. One is that of the people who wish justice for their people. No one is asking that they not punish those who commited the crime, whomever they be. The other is that the process has to have an end. Here there is the matter of psychological torture with this legal process; if you walk over there and speak with someone they will tell you be careful because you might appear on the list of the Attorney General. Yes, I speak of justice for all sides, that those who commit the crime receive the punishment.

    When they proposed that you be the only candidate for mayor, what did you think?

    " All of the political groups separately began to call me to tell me they wished I be their candidate. Afterwards Monseñor Isaias Duarte called me and explained: 'Gloria, after 3 days of very hard work, the only person who had the right back-ground, who has no political links with anyone and in whom the people believe, is you. Please accept.' I have to be honest about what I felt. I felt like a gift of God; for me it was marvelous be-cause I love this region. For me it was an award for the things which I had put in motion always from obscurity.

    Secretary to Gloria Cuartas Assassinated

    from Noticol 535, October 11, 1995, from El Tiempo

    Edgar Mauricio Plazas Niñ, secretary-general of the Mayor of Apartadó, was assassinated yesterday morning. Plazas, 34, a member of the EPL (Hope, Peace and Liberty), had been in the position for 5 months. The murder occured when the Governor of Antioquia, Alvaro Uribe Velez, and the mayor of the town, Gloria Cuartas, were in Europe attempting to get international oversight for the region. Mario Aguedelo, deputy of EPL in Antioquia, accused the 'Bolivarian militias' linked to the FARC of committing the crime.

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